To complement Action Script: Symposium on Performance Art Practice and Documentation in Asia, co-presented by Asia Art Archive and Centre for Community Cultural Development in October 2010, AAA will place a selection of materials from its collection on display in its library.

The display provides a glimpse into the current performance art scene in Asia, with a particular focus on the proliferation of festivals devoted to the art form, as they are such significant platforms for interaction, activism, and creative development. The growing collection of associated catalogues and ephemeral materials—posters, leaflets, and clippings, as well as photographs and videos stored in digital form—is often overlooked, because these materials are usually stored out of sight, for preservation purposes, and because they are often grouped within listings containing multiple elements and, thus, are not always recalled in digital catalogue searches. A selection of these materials has been temporarily relocated to previously vacant spaces throughout the library.

The material on display during Action Script will be shuffled every three to four weeks and its arrangement is determined by several parallel classification systems that deviate from the Archive’s existing one. While archiving aims to capture and preserve, information that does not conform to the established structure tends to be ignored, lost, or discarded. By experimenting with alternative ways of classifying and re-ordering documentation, AAA is attempting to open up other possibilities of archiving this impermanent art form, a critical and challenging task.

As an extension of the parallel archive concept, the self-archived collections of four performance artists, Tehching Hsieh, Judy Freya Sibayan, Lee Wen and Kwok Mangho, will be showcased near the entrance. Through self-archiving, artists reclaim control over the documentation and presentation of their work from curators, archivists, and researchers. The selected materials reflect the varying practices and archiving motivations of these four artists.


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Chuong-Dai Vo uses Lee Wen’s notebooks to explore his work as performance and process